Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Best Dense, Moist Chocolate Cake with Fudge-Like Frosting Recipes

Did you know that on average, only 10% of the recipes in cook books are actually tried before they are published? This is most notably true in celebrity personality cookbooks. I had long assumed that everyone had been cooked several times and perfected. Indeed, there are honorable cook book writers who labor to make sure their submissions are good. One such cook book author is Ree, from She just recently finished writing her book, which is due for publication next summer. Her recipes are ALWAYS lovely and spot on. Her portions are large, but I imagine that comes from the fact that she lives on a ranch and appears to feed more than just the six people in her family. Today's recipe is from her.

A while back she posted this recipe for the best chocolate cake, ever. The photos made it look plain, but also dense and moist, a nice break from the fluffy results of box mixes we are all so used to. I wanted to try it. The process and portions were different from the from scratch cake recipes I had tried before. I made it for the first time earlier this week to use as a celebratory cake for my colleague's birthday. Portion control is not my strong suit, so I made two, making sure we had enough for the 16 people in my department. We ate part of one on the birthday day, and the rest on the next. I found that I like the recipe even better the second day. This morning I made it again to use as a cake to celebrate my Aunt Kathy's birthday.

As I have already said, the cake is moist and dense. The frosting has a fudge like quality that is poured over the cake when it is still hot (the frosting, that is. The cake can be hot, too). I am pretty sure that the cake, at least with this frosting, would have to be served in the pan it was made in. The frosting is lovely, but not the kind used to decorate or make swirls. It is tempting to simply eat the frosting with the spatula used to scrap it out of the bowl.

My one adjustment that I might make is to use a bit less frosting. When Ree makes it she uses a jelly roll pan so there is more surface. I made mine in a 9"x13" pan. Most of my colleagues disagreed with me and said they would have it just the way I made it that day. You'd have to make your own choice.

It's nice to have a good recipe that I can make with items I have on hand. If you need a nice cake, this might just be the ticket for you, too.

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